MAY, New Noir
After more than a year away from Melbourne… Have you met a lot of Aussies in New York? I know there’s a community that tries to stay pretty close.
Not so many actually, just a handful really…but most of my friends are from everywhere else in the world apart from Australia... That’s one of my favorite things about living here.
How long have you been doing music?
I think just as long as I can remember…since I was a child. I have always been musical in some way since I was a baby... My mom is an artist and so I think I definitely got that gene from her.
What kind of art?
I can see how that would influence your foundation. She’s a painter. We used to spend summers in Australia at the beach. So our summer is January February and we would have a siesta in the afternoon… She would paint and play very loudly Frank Sinatra, Andrea Bocelli, Sting. I get asked how do I have the sound that I do, and I really think that it stems from when I was a child and those summers and the music.
[You] seem very heavily influenced by nostalgia….especially the music video for ‘Ballerino’, clearly retrospective but seems so new right now, when music videos are getting almost futuristic or go 90’s retro, it’s a different approach to ‘analog’. Vintage vibes kind of feel cutting edge.
Exactly. Everything that I’m into is basically everything about that video, and I’m glad that you think of it in that way as well.
Your visuals, also, seem adamant on the black and white aesthetic, especially.
I mean, I love all things old school. All things noir… I love that whole side of things, and things being very dark and mysterious, because the music itself is very cinematic. The imagery is as important to me and the music as listening.
So, how do you feel about a majority of modern music being so heavily produced in a hyper-digital way? Art is very Instagram, music is super synthy... How do you engage disengage from pop-y production?
Some of it I think is cool and interesting and progressive. The music that I make reaches people’s hearts, so that’s where I come from. I think music can be mainstream in the way it touches people as well. It’s not common, but when it does happen it can have 100 times more of an impact than music that’s been heavily produced. There are two sides.
Do you find yourself to be heavily influenced by old film?
I think so ...I really love to watch old performances on youtube of like the Rat Pack days.
What are your go-to’s?
There’s a performance— quite long, probably like half an hour or an hour. It has Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, Frank Sinatra, and it’s hosted by Johnny Carson… this performance, of course they all showed up drinking whiskey and smoking cigarettes completely chatting left, right, and center. Nothing is out of bounds. Then, they just break into song and it’s just incredible. Shows like that, real entertainment. I just am obsessed. Do you go see live music? I don’t listen to a whole lot of music actually. For me…this morning was an example: I was alone in my apartment meditating, and I was listening to Andrea Bocelli very loudly and I just started crying because it was so beautiful. I only listen to music really when I’m alone and when it can be very loud. But I’m not really a fan of background music.